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A Short History of the Future

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  42 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
W. Warren Wagar's A Short History of the Future is a memoir of postmodern times, cast as a history. This powerful and visionary book is narrated by a far-future historian, Peter Jensen, who leaves this account of the world from the 1990s to the opening of the twenty-third century as a gift to his granddaughter. A combination of fiction and scholarship, this third edition o ...more
Paperback, 340 pages
Published August 1st 1999 by University Of Chicago Press (first published August 1st 1989)
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David C. Mueller
Aug 30, 2010 David C. Mueller rated it really liked it
This book offers three possible scenarios for the future of the human race based on the branch of scholarship called future studies. The result is a compelling fictional history that reads at times like a textbook and others like a science fiction novel. The three alternate futures are combined into a single narrative that uses succeeding generations of a single fictional family to tie it together. The first future follows modern global capitalism as it spreads to engulf all of humanity in its c ...more
Dec 17, 2015 Michael rated it liked it
Such a difficult book to review. I've tried to read this book three times since college, and just haven't made past the first few pages. To be honest, the first 30 pages (or more) are a slog, mostly because they describe years that are now past rather than future and are too wonky regarding geo-political upheaval.

Things get really interesting around 2040 (the year, not the page number) when the Catastrophe happens. Virtually everything that occurs after that is fascinating from a what-if perspec
Peter Orvetti
Aug 13, 2015 Peter Orvetti rated it really liked it
Wagar's book is a look back from the dawn of the 23rd century at the history of the world over the previous 200 years. While Wagar makes some actual predictions about scientific progress that are intriguing and somewhat realistic -- human life extended to about 150 years, for instance, and genetic improvements that essentially create a new species of genius children -- he is primarily using this framework to explore different large-scale economic systems.

The first part of the book shows modern i
Uzma Naz
The implications of this are fascinating. In essence, there is no single political mode that can serve all people for all time. Everything is essentially dynamic; the same applies to people's technological and, if I may add, spiritual needs. When one plane of existence is perfected, it gives way to the perpetuation of yet another plane.
Aug 11, 2010 Andrew rated it it was amazing
This book chronicles a possible future covering the next two hundred years from the present! Whilst effectively a work of fiction, the events described during the period in question are based on trends we see in our own time. An excellent read!
Mar 01, 2015 Mae rated it liked it
I have a hard time with nonfiction, and though this is technically fiction- it is also written pretty historically. That said, I did enjoy the concepts and scenarios imagined for our future. I would recommend this book to people who love both history and scifi.
Stacy Chance
Mar 04, 2008 Stacy Chance rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is an update of this since I read it in the early 90's, so this version may be dated, but it was a very interesting attempt to paint a story of our political, religious, and economic future as a planet based on past and current trends. Told as fiction as a historical accoutn in the 2200's.
Luís Corujo
Jul 01, 2012 Luís Corujo rated it it was amazing
Este é o mais realista e o mais provável futuro da humanidade
Aug 08, 2016 Jesse added it
Shelves: history
It was certainly an interesting class when I took it at SUNY Binghamton.
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